This Fourth of July is most certainly not like the others as most of the fireworks shows have been canceled. And during the pandemic, officials have warned everyone to skip the family BBQs and to wear masks out in public.
Friday in Mission Beach, you would never know the county is technically under a stay at home order. Mission Bay resident Rachel Peniche's holiday is quiet this year, by choice. But she feels like she’s one of the few following health orders.
“It’s just like another 4th of July, like any other year. And this year we are in a pandemic and I think people should not gather, stay at home and be safe. We can get over this pandemic as quickly as possible,” Peniche said.
On Thursday night, despite the increase in coronavirus cases, she noticed two large gatherings directly in front of her beach property. One of the groups set off fireworks, once the sun set. Fireworks are illegal in San Diego. She took photos and videos and posted them on social media, to which she got many comments.
“Not just one set, but it went on for 10 minutes. I know that we are not gonna have fireworks this weekend, and I know people are upset about that, but that doesn’t give them the right to then take matters into their own hands,” Peniche said.
Four cities will have fireworks shows this year and with San Diego being the only southern California county with open beaches, Peniche said she expects flocks of out-of-towners.
“I don’t want to be penalized or the citizens of San Diego for the people coming in from different areas, or the actions that they’re disregarding our rules and our regulations,” Peniche said.
The County of San Diego has issued a health order that includes a stay-at-home order, requires people to wear masks in public, and does not allow any gatherings.
If cited you could face a $1000 fine or a misdemeanor.
“I hope that we can all be safe and I hope that we don’t have a huge spike. I hope we can resume our lives as soon as possible,” Peniche said.
Peniche told NBC 7 she reached out to 211 to file a complaint and that a neighbor called SDPD. She said there was no police report as she believes, no one in the large gatherings was cited or addressed.
NBC 7 has reached out to the rental company that manages the home where the visitors were staying, for a statement, but did not immediately hear back.